Space

Category archives for Space

Gravity Probe B Is in the Air

I no longer remember the context, but the Gravity Probe B experiment came up in discussion around the department last week, and nobody could really remember what the status of it was. It came up again during the “Physics: What We Don’t Understand” panel Saturday morning, where Geoff Landis was able to supply a few…

Fourth Time’s the Charm

Congratulations to SpaceX for successfully launching a payload into orbit after three failed attempts: The two-stage Falcon 1 rocket built by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) lifted off at about 7:15 p.m. EDT (2315 GMT) from the U.S. Army’s Ronald Reagan Ballistic Defense Test Site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the about 2,500 miles (4,023 km)…

Virtual Science Debate

As you might have guessed from yesterday’s tease, the folks at ScienceDebate 2008 have now managed to get answers from the McCain campaign (to go with Obama’s froma few weeks ago). Which means that while you may never see them answering science questions on a stage together, you can put them head-to-head on the Web,…

Science Outreach Through Fiction

Over at Tor.com, David Levine describes a really cool event he went to just before Worldcon: a crash course in modern astronomy for SF writers: The idea behind Launch Pad is Gernsbackian: getting good science into popular fiction as a form of public education and outreach for NASA. SF writer and University of Wyoming astronomy…

Rocket Science: Still Hard

Bad news from the worthwhile sections of this morning’s New York Times: another SpaceX rocket blew up. A privately funded rocket was lost on its way to space Saturday night, bringing a third failure in a row to an Internet multimillionaire’s effort to create a market for low-cost space-delivery. The accident occurred a little more…

Blue Sky On Mars

Well, OK, that’s a stretch, but there is water, according to the latest Phoenix results: “We’ve now finally touched it and tasted it,” William V. Boynton, a professor at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona and the lead scientist for the instrument that detected the water, said at a news conference…

Missed It by That Much

So, the Martians go and helpfully draw a box on the ground as a target for the Phoenix landing, and what do they do? They land next to it, not in it. Way to go, NASA. I bet if they hadn’t screwed up the unit conversions, they would’ve hit it…

The Ingenuity of Rocket Scientists

There’s another Mars article in the Times this morning, which I wouldn’t bother to note in a full post save for one thing: the way they got the results. The right front wheel of Spirit stopped turning in March 2006. Since then, the rover has been driving backwards, dragging the lame wheel along. This May,…

Don’t Wear Red or Mention Montana

The Science Times this week appears to be the Special Coturnix Issue, at least judging from the titles in my RSS reader– a huge stack of articles about sleep and biological clocks. Bora must be thrilled. Mixed in there, though, are two articles about NASA. One bears the dramatic headline “NASA Faces House Hearings on…